Is home internet necessary?

I am always looking for more things to cut from my expenses,  especially as I prepare to take the final year of classes in my program. Recurring bills are a good target because you don’t just save money once, you continue to save money every month onwards.

I’ve started giving the cable and internet bill the evil eye, as the anniversary of my 6-month promotional price is coming up.  I could cancel and sign up for a new promotion, preserving my current low costs, but I could also cancel and leave it off completely.


Is having internet at home necessary?

Internet is a more tricky issue.  I do agree that in today’s world, internet is a necessity, especially for someone in a computer science program! But is home internet a necessity? I don’t feel like I would be disconnected from the world, because I have a great phone with a decent data plan.  In a pinch, my phone can act as a mobile hotspot that I could connect to wirelessly from my laptop.  There’s also a coffee shop with free wifi about five blocks away (which frankly isn’t the best option when you are practicing internet safety), a public library about three blocks away, and of course, I would have internet while on campus.

But in just two months, I’ll be resuming classes in computer science.  It’s my final year in this program and I’d like to do well.  It’s an assignment-heavy program.  Most of the resources are found online.  While much of the material can be saved for offline access, it’s hard to anticipate everything that’s required.


Pros of canceling home internet

If I canceled my home internet, it would save $15 a month, or $10 for the share that Brian and I pay. Over the course of 6 months (the length of a typical promotional price period), we would save $60. It would force me to make more use of the data plan I pay for on my phone, which would be good because I currently only use 1/5 of my data plan allocation.


How could I make it work?

Without internet at home, the most economical alternative would be for me to spend more time on campus getting my work done.  While feasible, I would probably run into issues around meal times.  Do I carry my life with me in my backpack and pack multiple meals?  It’s doable but a bit rough when I already have to carry a laptop, books and a lunch. Do I spend money on campus buying food?  What if I get thirsty or tired – now do I need to get a coffee?

What if I had to do work outside of campus, perhaps on the weekend?  I could go to the coffee shop but then I’d need to buy at least a small drink for $2-3.  If I had to do that every weekend, even only once, that would cost me around $10 a month – and most likely more.


So is internet at home necessary?

With the promotional prices that I get, internet only costs $10 a month for Brian and I, taxes and fees included.  We are getting such a low price that we would not save that much money by canceling the service. An extra $10 a month is useful, but not as useful when compared the negatives.

In fact, canceling the service could cost us more in the long run because there is the possibility of having to go to the coffee shop on the weekend to do work for my classes. It’s also a lot more convenient and economical to do my work at home since I wouldn’t be tempted to buy snacks at school. Food on campus is generally pricey and not terribly healthy anyways.

And finally, our roommate – though fairly tolerant of most of our cost-cutting measures – would probably kill me if I canceled the internet!

So while it seems that home internet is NOT necessary – there are many alternative options but around my home and on campus – the cost of those alternatives would outweigh the cost of having home internet.  Unless for some horrible reason I can’t get a good price on internet when it comes time to find a new promotion, I think internet service will be sticking around my apartment at least a little while longer.

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